Skillogalee Strategy

Everyone has a Skilly story. From kicking the footy in the car park as a kid to celebrating life’s special occasions under the restaurant verandah. Skillogalee looms large in many memories.

Skillogalee is the beating heart of Clare—a must-visit destination for travellers and a hub for the local community.

Established in 1970, Skillogalee, or Skilly as it is affectionately known, is a remarkable single-estate property in the eponymous Skilly Valley within the greater Clare Valley.

The business has always been committed to producing hand-crafted, highly acclaimed wines that speak to its high-altitude site and hillside vineyards. In addition to its award-winning wines, Skillogalee has been welcoming guests to its historic cellar door and verandah restaurant for over 30 years.

So, when the business and property were offered for sale in 2020, ex-pat South Aussie Simon Clausen jumped at the chance to write the next chapter of Skillogalee’s continuing story.

Recognising the need to honour and respect its long-standing legacy whilst imbuing greater resonance with an upcoming generation of drinkers, his intent was clear—evolution, not revolution.

We were charged with helping him on that evolutionary journey. Our initial brand diagnosis led us to speak with the internal team and external stakeholders, trade and industry, customers, club members, distributors and retail gatekeepers around the world.

The recurring sentiment that emerged from these conversations was the need to evolve Skillogalee and make it more contemporary without changing its DNA or losing its soul, whilst also somehow embedding the actual site in the brand so customers on the other side of the world could understand how special the place is—no mean feat!

We determined that the contoured vine illustration still had relevance and needed to be retained, albeit reimagined to better reflect the elegance of the wines and the sophisticated consumer.

The logotype, however, was completely overhauled, preserving its uniqueness whilst enhancing its refinement and elegance. “Classic Contemporary” would best define directionally where we would take the brand’s aesthetic—a timeless solution that is right for today and will still be right in 30 years.

Finally, all the Skilly stories that came to light from our stakeholder conversations were carefully compiled. We knew they would hold an important place in the brand’s packaging and communications in order to convey what makes Skilogalee so special.

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